tv Melissa Harris- Perry MSNBC September 30, 2012 7:00am-9:00am PDT
[ male announcer ] get more access with the citi card. [ crowd cheering, mouse clicks ] this morning my question. is it time to text the vote? plus, a lesson for senator scott brown. and sex trafficking here at home. a crisis of modern day slavery. but first, the candidates will finally debate and a lot of us just don't care. good morning. i'm melissa harris-perry. ever notice the holidays are getting earlier and earlier? every year those christmas tree ornaments and santa hats get put on display just a week or two earlier. incrementally pushing up the date of when it's acceptable to think about candy canes and reindeer.
apparently christmas has arrived this year. we haven't trick-or-treated or given thanks yet. break out the dreidel or light the kwanzaa. or get the tree up. taking a page from the lobby christmas tree's book, the political parties have made sure we don't forget to vote. on any day in the month preceding election day, that is. because you can vote early. but not often. that's right. it's election day. 37 days shy of the actual election day and people in iowa are already casting their votes and across 30 states absentee ballots are hitting mailboxes. it's not about winning more votes on election day, it's about racking up ballots over the election month. this will be important in swing states like iowa, ohio, florida and colorado that allow early voting. all told, in 32 states and the district of columbia, citizens will be going to the polls early and experts expect that at least 35% of the electorate will cast
their vote before election day. that's on par with 2008 and it's not an inconsequential third. in 2008 in iowa, then senator barack obama received fewer votes than senator john mccain on election day. but still won the state due to tally from early voting. this year, president obama could receive the same edge from early voting. and the iowa secretary of state's office says that democrats have a 5 to 1 advantage over republicans in the number of absentee ballots requested. now, though the state's republican party promises to close that advantage by election day, the candidates seem to have embraced early voting. both camps approximate put out ads that look and feel like closing arguments. here's president obama's. >> it's time for a new economic patriotism rooted in the belief that growing our economy begins with a strong, thriving middle class. read my plan. compare it to governor romney's
and decide for yourself. >> and with a very different pitch, governor mitt romney. >> president obama and i both care about poor and middle class families. the difference is, my policies will make things better for them. we shouldn't measure compassion by how many people are on welfare. we should measure compassion by how many people are able to get off welfare and get a good-paying job. >> okay, seriously, why not vote now. what else do you need to know? we've had the primaries, endless political ads, direct mail. 24-hour political pundits online and on the airwaves dissecting every little tiny moment of this very long political cycle. what else is there left to be learned? after all, one of the biggest hurdles to voting as we have been telling you every week is access to the polls. so early voting should be an expansion of democracy. but, you know, i still kind of
have to wonder, what does it say about the deliberative nature of democracy that many cast votes before the debates and the official closing arguments. i find myself agreeing, but narrowly, with newt gingrich here. let's embrace the essence of the lincoln douglas senate debates of 1858, the democratic spirit of two candidates facing off with 90 minutes, no moderator, freely open to the populous to decide who wins the war of ideas. aren't the presidential dae baits when we test the mettle of each side's convictions and the substance of their policy. this has become an ideologically driven election. no longer referendum on foreign wars or economic failings, this is a choice of doctrine and of direction. so perhaps that's why i don't mind sharing a little political science secret with you. although the debates routinely draw large viewing audiences, evidence shows that voters do
learn a little bit of information from them, but political scientists also tend to agree that debates don't actually make a difference in the outcome. sorry. it's at least statistically true. most often, you can accurately predict where a race will end up after the debates by knowing where things stood before the debates. but don't tell the candidates. because with the first presidential debate coming up wednesday, governor romney and president obama will be gearing up for a fight. that's a good thing. we still need the debates. it's a so krat i can sem nor of sorts for the country having the candidates stand behind their podiums forced to answer for nair proposals. we get to see how the ideas stand up under questioning before you decide. at least for some of us, before we vote. here with me today is msnbc c contributor for the blog.
latino.com's victoria did he francesco soto. she's a fellow at the university of texas. jam al simpsons and indicate en dawson and gop sharm. thanks for being here. >> thank up. it's going to be october, last month, final push, debates. what are we going to see in the debates in. >> you don't see the two of these people standing on the stage, used their practice lines. studying up. we haven't seen much of mitt romney on the campaign trail. he's been studying for this. >> you think that's what he's been doing, studying, not fundraising? >> totally, he's been studying. he's got to make something work in this debate. he's going to have a tough time to argue to fundraisers and to the republican bigwigs that they ought to stick with him and not cut him loose. >> caitlin is there anything that mitt romney can say in the context of the debates that can do this? is there anything in his
studying or fundraisers to change -- >> i think there's some things you can do. maybe there won't be that many people watching the debate. but the noise around it and after it will matter. the 1980 carter debate with ronald reagan where he said there you go again, calling the sitting president a liar basically. that's when carter started collapsing. you've got a few moments to make the one-liners catch and stick. all of the substance will get lost in the minutia. romney needs one worse than the president right now. >> instead of o owe is it like trying to figure out what the zinger is going to be that will get retweeted on a hash tag? >> yes, that it is. >> it makes me so sad. >> well, yes. as you said, the stakes are higher for mitt romney. keep this mind, this is a man who has been running for president for six years.
>> right. >> it's come down to this one moment, this first debate on wednesday where he's got to change the trajectory of his campaign, of the narrative with at that point, what is it 35 days in the race. yeah. >> you're the political scientist here. you're the nerd here at the table. just to my mind, i do not see how practically speaking mitt romney can change the trajectory and move his campaign into a positive position with so little time. >> you're a big nerd too. >> i am a nerdlander. the other thing is in the wake of the 47% comment, we'll need to see a lot of compassion out of romney. we don't cowboy tactics, don't act like he did during the republican primaries, where he had to be tough, he made rick perry look weak. he needs to tone that down and speak to the people who may not feel connected to him and say i can speak for you.
>> he hasn't been doing this well. he's got this friend who tells this story of -- these are the stories we hear about oh, he's this great guy. let's listen to this story of the rescue, the mitt romney rescue. >> i realize there was nobody in the boat to help me dock the boat. do anything. they left me out there at sea. [ laughter ] so i finally found a place to park after about 20 minutes and i pulled in. i said who is going to grab the rope and i looked up and there was mitt romney. so he pulled me in, tied up the boat for me. he rescued me as he's going to rescue this great country. >> except that it's not like an old man and the sea boat. it's like his yacht. romney saves his friend bill on his yacht. this is not -- >> the part they didn't have in there when he talks about taking his grandchildren out for ice cream by motoring across the lake and couldn't find anywhere to dock. that's the part of the story -- >> that's what i do on the weekends. >> my grandparents took me for
ice cream in the back of a buick. >> yachts, no, sir the ones driving bruks -- >> not even picking on people with yachts. if he's going to come and be the guy who is going to make a connection in the debate in order to turn around this campaign, it can't be stories like that. >> it's so important because during the republican national cop vengs, he did not form that convention. he's going to form that human connection, share that personal side of mitt and he didn't. so we see him trying to o do that in the commercials, looking face to face at people and speaking to them. we need to see that in the debates. >> i'm going to disagree with you, victoria. he did make a connection during the convention on the night of his speech unfortunately -- >> it didn't get on the air. >> the biopic, it was the best thing out of both conventions. it's like a tree falling in the
woods. >> i was watching c-span so i saw it. >> you too are a super nerd. >> as we come back in the next block, i want to talk more about early voting. a tradition in presidential campaigns has been the october surprise. if you've already cast your vote in september, what happens to the october surprise? that's next. [ male announcer ] for the saver, and a big first step. for the spender who needs a little help saving. for adding "& sons." for the dreamer, planning an early escape. for the mother of the bride. for whoever you are, for whatever you're trying to achieve, pnc has technology, guidance, and over 150 years of experience to help you get there. ♪
this week republican congressman peter king, chairman of the homeland security committee, called for the resignation of u.n. ambassador susan rice because of her handling of the u.s. consulate attack in benghazi. u.s. intelligence is saying there is evidence that the attack was initially planned. initially, the administration had maintained they believed the attacks in libya were spontaneous reaction to the offensive video that rocked the middle east and beyond. could the direct sort of politicizing of the benghazi attack snowball into a full-blown october surprise for the president? what do you think? does the changing discourse about what happened in benghazi ultimately cause harm to the president? >> the thing about an october surprise is it usually has to reinforce some fundamental weakness or arguments from taking place with the president. if you think about the bin laden tape at the end of the 2004 campaign with bush and kerry, bush had been running on this fear and strength and all these issues getting the country
animated on this. by the time the surprise happened, it reinforced what the people already believed. the thing that the president and this is why the bin laden assassination sort of worked out. is because people started to trust him that he's not soft on terrorists. ask the terrorists hit by drone strikes. people trust his judgment on this. it's not how you handle -- the president has a pretty good record. >> romney comes out initially after these attacks and flubs it, right? he messes up his response to it. he doesn't realize there's been a statesman killed in the field. can he try to spin this back now? >> if we would exercise patience and waited three days, this would have been a real issue to get your arms around. certainly, the foreign policy questions here, certainly where the president wants this race to be versus the economic factors, the unemployment numbers. one more time the president's team wins on the debate. certainly -- >> in other words, this is the briar patch.
please three owe. >> i killed osama bin laden and i understand that. but the governor romney has to get back to the economy. that's where he wins in the numbers. he did have a chance to -- there wasn't patient enough to let this thing unfold long enough. i agree with you, this is not over yet. >> it would have been a tough issue -- >> is there anyone who would change their vote. is there anyone who cast their vote, 32 votes, you look at that map, it's a map filled with people already voting. right? that's where you have early voting. are any of the folks, if it turns out that there was missed intelligence about the likelihood that this was not a spontaneous event linked to al qaeda who were saying, man, i wish i could have my vote back. >> this is about the economy. the vast amount of americans have economy as their top concern. as we were talking about earlier, the issue of foreign policy only helps the president. even if there was something there that might be cloudy, at the end of the day he is the
hero and governor romney does not have that experience. he was a governor. at least if you're a congressman, you can sigh i served on the foreign service committee. that is his achilles heel. >> even if he was a governor in a state like new york that had the sort of 9/11 experience, but in this context, in massachusetts, certainly -- >> or alaska where you can see russia. >> dig that one back up. >> they can see your dna by looking. >> two problems that mitt romney had or has in all of this, one is that basically as you're saying, if he had waited three days, this would be a completely different story because there are serious questions here for the president, for the state department, for the administration to answer. but basically, mitt romney gave president obama cover on this. so he's got the bin laden kill, but he's got this. the second thing is, both of you just said, yes, this campaign is about the economy. this election is on the economy. but up until last week, it was
an issue for mitt romney. but as we saw in the nbc news wall street journal poll, the president is winning the argument on the economy. >> yes. indeed. very clearly. in a bunch of measures, right? we have the misery index being lower than you might expect it to be. people feeling more hopeful. but also this sense that the austerity measures that the romney/ryan campaign are suggesting just are not flying with the american people. i got to say, i still think george w. bush gives the president some cover on this. if you start talking about susan rice having misled the people on benghazi. isn't it easy to point out the weapons of mass destruction argument? there's already a president who was re-elected in the context of actively -- active deception towards the american people. >> i think this is a bigger deal for susan rice if she wants to be secretary of state than barack obama being re-elected. >> you think susan rice is going to be secretary of state. i thought it was kerry.
interesting. >> both those names are in the hat. >> senator kerry has given a lot -- a bit of cover to susan rice this week suggesting that in fact he believes that she handled it appropriately. >> i will contend this race isn't over yet. i hope they keep picking cabinet members. i'll give you some of our names in a little while. >> i went straight to second term there. sorry about that imt when is a debate not really a key bait? you might argue. -- all the stuff they won't talk about this wednesday. ♪
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a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim. we're raising the bar on flying and tomorrow we will up it yet again. president obama and governor romney will meet for debates. this coming wednesday will be dominated by the economy, sometimes devoted to health care and the role of governing. the candidates will be ready because over the past month, the
rules, scheduling and topics for the debate have been negotiated by the commission on presidential debates. the major party bosses and the campaigns. in fact, this year for the first time in history, the presidential candidates will be given the topics of the debate ahead of time. when i did debate, we called that a cheat sheet. but okay. topics that didn't make the list? plenty. to name a few, the candidates won't be addressing gun control. the national incarceration crisis or wage stagnation. as i stand in this moment, i have my stand-in debaters and i want to know what you guys think ought to be on the debate calendar, on the schedule that's not there? >> i don't think we should be constrained to these narrow topics. if anything, i would prefer to see a freer flow of debates. i want to see romney and obama the man. i want to see them -- you know, i can watch ads that put their platforms forward. i can read their websites. but i want to see them speak freely.
i think most of america is hungry for that. >> maybe it would be fun to have them at the nerdland table. have a little longer on this show, 90 minutes. chat it up. that's not what they are like. they do have topics. they're going to go to colorado, the site of two major acts of gun violence and nobody is going to talk about that. should they be discussing that? >> they should be discussing that. a guy came up to me from new jersey and said, you know, it would be nice if we could do something like this around poverty like camden and detroit and a bunch of other places. it would be nice to hear mitt romney talk about how he helps the wealthy and middle class. what's his plan to get people out of poverty. >> this is the story behind the numbers. you can have unemployment and still have poverty because of the nature of wage stagnation. you were saying in the break that you thought the october surprise happened in september. >> we decided. >> because of early voting, as you talked about, the october
surprise actually has already happened. it happened in september and it was that 47% video where you had mitt romney unplugged, unfiltered in a nice cocoon with his upper 1% friends or disparaging, belittling the 47% and not just saying they're not going to vote for me. but saying i can't do anything for them. they don't want to take responsibility for their lives. that's unbelievably damaging. for there to be a summit on poverty, cgi to have mitt romney talk about that. people would sit back -- >> that feels like that would be rich in the debate. >> that is the other key part of it. same comparison to the 2008 gaffe of clinging to their gungs and bibles. horrible gaffe but then he explained it. we're not seeing that from romney. >> mitt romney hasn't explained anything in the last year and a half. we don't know anything more about bain, about his faith, don't know about the touch stones that people have
questions about. >> i really would -- >> is katon can the guy do this at the debate. >> he has the opportunity. he's done 20-something debates against gingrich and ron paul and others. >> raise those expectations. >> he also did them with ted kennedy, which lowered the expectations. what you're saying is the president is a well-organized campaign. all these messages aren't coming out by themselves. they're pushing them out. he has the power. si. he's invested in a ground game in 12 states. in north carolina, with early voting, 12,000 people have already voted. on gameday, 747,000 people voted for obama and a million -- for mccain. organization matters and the way the earned media is going matters. a lot of the ideas that romney is behind is the president has a pretty good campaign.
>> certainly not a bad one. >> we have ground game. but he's running a pretty good campaign. >> not much time. did you see that map. the people are voting. up next, get your paper and pencils ready, my daughter parker is here with a pop quiz next. [ male announcer ] we got a mom and the family car to prove that febreze car vent clips could eliminate the odor. [ woman ] take a deep breath, tell me what you smell. something fresh. a clean house. [ woman ] take your blindfolds off. oh!! hahahaha!!! [ male announcer ] febreze car. eliminates odors, so you can breathe happy.
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it? in order to do this, we enlisted my daughter parker, she's ten, almost 11. after she is finished you ring your bell. if you think you know who said the line that she is going to say. all right? let's start first with parker's version of a classic presidential debate zinger. roll the tape. >> i want you to know also i will not make an issue of this campaign. i am not going to exploit for political purposes my opponent's youth and inexperience. >> okay. the one i heard after -- who was that and when did it happen? >> ronald reagan. >> you got it. >> ronald reagan, 1980. >> '84. >> that's right. i think you both get a sticker for that one. ronald reagan in 1984 and obviously, he was at the time 73. he was running against mondale
who was 56. cleaned mondale's clock. age was not used against reagan. parker is back. >> nothing but a number. >> nothing but a number. parker is back for the second one. >> i knew jack kennedy. jack kennedy was a friend of mine. senator, you're no jack kennedy. >> jamaal. >> lloyd benson in the vice presidential debate and you remembered it was lloyd benson. good job. >> nerdland for a reason. >> what state, jamaal? >> he was from texas. >> does anybody remember what dan quayle said in response? >> he said that's uncalled for. >> that's exactly it. >> crawl under the podium. >> after the laughing subsided in the crowd. >> that was a pretty good one. >> i think that's my best. >> he's being polite. he's not hitting his bell until she is through. >> here's the next parker video.
>> george bush taking credit for the berlin wall coming down is like the rooster taking credit for the sunrise. >> that's a lot of attitude. >> that could only be governor ann richards of texas. >> you would think, right? it's a very -- she said it like that. >> but it wasn't? >> it wasn't. >> she's channeling ann. it was not in a debate with george bush is your hint here. it was in a debate during the same time but -- >> al gore. >> yes. >> that's right. applause. it was al gore in 1982. vice presidential debate he was mocking then president george h.w. bush. next one comes from the same debate. listen to parker on had one. >> who am i? why am i here? >> it's the vice presidential debate and i'm just blanking on the name of the general.
>> sockwell -- >> stockdale. >> you guys are like working together collectively here to get these. that's right. so we've got another one here that this is one of my favorites. let's watch this one. >> say it ain't so, joe. >> you know who that is. >> sarah palin. >> sarah palin versus joe biden, very good. >> i was bringing up another one. that was lipstick on a pig. >> do you know why she came out and asked him is it okay if i call you joe? do you know the reason? >> i'll let you answer ha. >> she kept messing up his name and calling him joe o'biden. >> here's our last one. this one is different because
it's purely visual. let's look at this one. >> that's okay. >> george h.w. bush in 1992. >> that's right. looking at his watch in the middle of the debate. like he had somewhere better to be. >> got to feed the meter. >> the one you didn't get that made me nervous as a staffer, al gore sighing. >> oh, yes, yes. >> talk about tea baits having an impact. gore was an an incline coming up and the debates stalled him out. >> as we're going out, we won't make this one a question. this is just parker doing her bill clinton impression. >> in my state when people lose their jobs, there's a good chance i'll know them by their name. >> yes. parker can feel your pain just like bill clinton. i think one of the tasks for mitt romney is to prove he can feel your pain, not just inflict
it. up next, what difference does it make when your president is also your friend? at least on facebook. thanks, parker. i appreciate it. >> nice job. ♪ ♪ ♪ we're lucky, it's not every day you find a companion as loyal as a subaru. love. it's what makes a subaru, a subaru. ♪ spread a little love my way ♪ ♪ spread a little something to remember ♪ [ female announcer ] fresh milk and real cream makes philadelphia and the moment a little richer.
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no need to get nasty. here's your "honk if you had an affair with taylor" yard sign. looks good. [ male announcer ] fedex office. now save 50% on banners. so before 2008, we were used to a certain type of presidential campaign. then in the obama for america campaign did what it did, winning in a way we had never seen before. but that's old news according to obama campaign manager jim messina who said this year, "we're going to be making 2008 on the ground look like jurassic park." i don't think he means dinosaurs per se. in other words, that's on the ground. where the obama for america folks aim to knock on 150% more doors than in the 2008 election. but how will they mobilize those. what if those people who aren't
home and don't pick up the phone when a volunteer calls? the key is technology, social media, twitter, facebook, instagram, google plus. the list goes on and on. when it comes to evolving technologies, ask myspace. you adapt or you get out. just because the obama folks had it figured out when they faced john mccain four years ago, do they still have it figured out? naturally, republican mitt romney's campaign doesn't think so. his digital director recently told the tech news site "i think they're used to the 2008 model where nobody was matching them. but it's a mistake of the obama campaign to underestimate us." what campaigns presidential and otherwise are the most tech savvy? and how will that advantage translate into votes in the next 37 days? joining me now is amy jo martin, founder and ceo of the social media consult tan si, digital royalty and author of a new book coming out tuesday. renegades write the rules. how the digital royalty used social media to innovate.
joining her or gentleman ma'am simpsons and katon dawson. amy, what is an effective use of social media by a presidential campaign? >> it's all about humanizing their brand. there are so many different channels and forums that can be used to get their messaging across. at the end of the day, who is the individual behind that voice and with celebrities that we've worked with in the past, shaquille o'neil for example. humans connect with humans, not logos or robots, right? so social is such a great tool for doing just that. it's scaleable to your point earlier. there are no boundaries. and from a technology standpoint, we're only bound by the speed of technology now. this is a way to scale someone's brand and actually connect with more people, whether it's one to one or one to 19 million in
barack obama's case. >> that's funny, you use the connection of connecting people to people. it's just our little machines that we're using. but there is something about social media that gives it a sense of familiarity. a two-way intimacy. when somebody you like tweets you back, i can remember a very -- my best girlfriend getting a tweet back from ll cool j and we were like oh, my gosh. he tweeted me back. like the idea of the obama campaign for example responding to you, there's a sense that there's a -- is there something -- >> they're all over the place. thinking back to 2008, how many twitter messages that the obama campaign sent out in 2008. just one. one on election day. now they send out one every two minutes it seems. >> it was all facebook in '08. >> they're on pinterest and twitter and all the different things. >> they're literally on twitter behind us right now. you know, on our big -- this is
the live feed for both barack obama and mitt romney. if fact, if you guys are watching, feel free to tweet us here. use the nerdland hash tag. right. you're right. certainly twitter is a platform. >> here's what was good. i was in tampa for the last couple of days, went to three or four field offices in the obama campaign and saw them putting people out on the ground with clip boards going door to door. they figured out how to marry up the old field organizing campaign with the new online campaign to make it all kind of work seamlessly. >> i'll tell you, they're ipads, not clipboards anymore. >> old school. >> we're going new school with ipads and other stuff. what i've seen and amy jo i love your opinions. 140 million facebook users. facebook has people talking to people in high school that were in high school with them and watch after the debates. this is where i've said it won't be what we're watching during
the debate. social media is going to catch it and the campaign social media war will be up and running. then we'll see who is really connected. >> romney is losing that. his 47% video has been viewed 2 million more times than his convention speech. right? at the moment, yes there's a lot of romney activity. ha they're doing -- and barack obama's speech is above that. what i love is the first lady's speech is above mitt romney's convention speech. >> i don't want us to lose touch of the importance of the human connection, of pressing the flesh. like you're saying, the trick is to web the two. we know from political science research, your direct mobilization is always going to be more effective than your indirect mobilization. eer getting better at it. it's a nice subsidy. you can't say oh, we're in a new technological era, we don't need boots on the street and you need boots on the street. >> that's right. bridging the virtual world with
the physical word. that's when social media channels come to life and the magic happens. whoever coined the term social media didn't do us any favors. it's not really media. it's more like the telephone, less like the tv. when it comes to communication, we all revolve around communication. but when you can bring that vart ul world and physical world and mesh the two, that's when it becomes so powerful. >> essentially, we're still going door to door. president obama invested the money before the -- while we were running. he put the ground game out there. 40-something offices in north carolina. i watched it, i tagged it. thousands of people working on the obama or america campaign. it matters. that's what i said earlier. that matters. you mix it with social media and we're look ago the 140 million facebook users looking for the independent voters. >> what i had remembered as the moment in the '08 campaign was when they got everybody to sign
up for who the vice presidential nominee was going to be. there is nothing less exciting in the world than -- but they used it. i mean, once i gave up that number, boy, they could now text you for the next four years, right? it was just a moment. but it allowed a building of -- >> the oprah winfrey rally for the first time that happened. >> i knew we were in trouble because i went to it. >> did you? >> you need to see what the -- i kept wondering, why are they caging the numbers had they come through the doors. i was going to criticize the democrat chairman. you've got all these customers coming and they said open up your phone and dial this number. i said we are in real trouble. >> the thing though is that there's campaign season and then you have four years of being real and governments and you have to do what you say you're going to do. those four years are very important in between. >> the records matter. >> you can't just show up when you're ready.
it's like social media is like a cocktail party. >> you have to build the relationship. >> you earn your right to ask for a callback. impressions don't always convert. influence does. those four years of intent we've been seeing day after day what the story is and if you just go away when it's not campaign season, where -- >> a.m. i, we're going to come back on all of this. in particular, i also want to ask not just how technology allows us to campaign but whether or not new technologies allow us to vote differently. that's up next. up. a short word that's a tall order. up your game. up the ante. and if you stumble, you get back up. up isn't easy, and we ought to know. we're in the business of up. everyday delta flies a quarter of million people while investing billions improving everything from booking to baggage claim.
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machines and punch cards. it's sort of the equivalent of the old at ms that suck your card in and didn't give you a receipt. we haven't made any investments in a broadway of thinking how a more streamlined reasonable and national system for voting and voting technology, what that could look like. i can go online and buy pretty much whatever i want on my phone. i can even buy a new phone on my phone. we value and celebrate tech savvy when it comes to consumerism. when will we do for our most valuable, our vote. amy jo, my colleague, chris hayes who has the show that precedes this one, up with chris, is the most tech savvy human being i can imagine with a television show. he tweets simultaneously while like top lining his staff, while doing the show. it's bizarro. >> instagram by the way on the breaks. >> this is the kind of chris hayes moment. i see the way that that allows
these multiple levels of connection. but i keep thinking to myself, if that's possible, if one could host a show and talk to one's staff and talk to one's viewers, shouldn't we be able to register to vote online? are there ways to imagine harnessing this? >> yes, absolutely. in fact, the x factor is a client of ours at digital royalty. you can submit votes. we started accepting votes through direct message on twitter. the functionality is there. are the logistics and the security, those are all other different types of questions. >> i don't know if you're -- that it's not -- people will know who sent the vote. >> exactly. it's all about the unique and i.p. and everything. however, when it comes to voting in general and the presidential candidates right now and asking for that vote, so much of what we're seeing right now is called action and it's advertising. it's so much more powerful to
have touch points of natural integration versus interruption like that. so one of the challenges i see is just a lack of education with the teams that are managing the social media efforts, especially mitt romney's. >> are you nervous about this? >> yes. >> i actually see -- >> let me take a step back. not even voting, hopefully one day that will come. but registering to vote, we have this ram shackle, rick et i system of voting. about a dozen states have automated registration. i can go online and register to vote. new york is one of the last states to do that. most states don't and they can. it's the state legislatures, it's the governors, it's the secretary of states who are saying we don't want to go there. well, why? we can all -- >> we can't all understand it. >> because of the en franchisement of people that would bring about. >> one of the challenges with incumbent changing voting rules, any incumbent always got elected
under whatever the current voting rules are. >> you want to keep the system you got elected under. we know from states that have done that, it costs less to register people automatedly. you get more people to register and hence more people to votement only a dozen states are doing that. folks aren't talking about it. >> is there any political will for this? >> how lazry we going to get? people will have to sit at home and vote. can't we get up and go to a polling place. >> for some people no. many people in disabled -- it's not necessarily laziness. >> put a poll near them. this is one of the fundamental parts of democracy. at some point people have to participate. you can't sit at home and push and button. >> jamal, i'm with you on this. >> how is this happening? >> 171 million customers. that's who is registered to vote in america.
171, 172 million people that get to vote and you've got different states. you're being realistic. the only thing that i see moving that is the monetary aspect of how much cheaper it would be. but it's still the historic right of people get to vote. there are tools for absentee. >> do it by mail. >> but to have the national government, which is what we would contend to come in and changt way we vote, i'm being realistic, that's not going to happen. >> step back. why do we vote on the first tuesday of november? why? because of who could vote back in the 1800s. it was white men. we were an agricultural society. you had to wait until the harvest was over and it wasn't too cold. so you did it on tuesday. because you need a day of travel. that's why we vote on tuesday. we're in 2012. >> i am all for making election day a national holiday. make it a day off for everybody. let's vote. turn it into a party. there's something to me that says as a culture, don't we want -- jury duty, people want
to escape. we're not going to have draft anymore. at some point as a culture don't we have to get up off our butts and -- >> i am in bizarro world. the democratic consultant was take responsibility add the republican like yeah, we should have some early voting. what is happening? >> but thank you to amy jo martin. a reminder to everyone that your new book, "renegades write the rules" comes out on tuesday. everybody else is sticking around a little bit. what is an american indian supposed to look like exactly and should it matter in a political race? that's next. mush push [ woman ] ring. ring. progresso. i just finished a bowl of your new light chicken pot pie soup and it's so rich and creamy... is it really 100 calories? yes, ma'am. 100 calories. yea...i'm gonna need some proof. we get that a lot... let me put you on webcan... see? hearty vegetables... lean roasted chicken... and a creamy broth that tastes indulgent -- but isn't...
droid does. and does it launch apps by voice while learning your voice ? launch cab4me. droid does. keep left at the fork. does it do turn-by-turn navigation ? droid does. with verizon, america's largest 4g lte network, and motorola, droid does. get $100 off select motorola 4g lte smartphones like the droid razr. . welcome back. i'm melissa harris-perry. as bill clinton would say, basic arithmetic tells us that we've come a long way since 1892. or at least it seems that way.
1892 was the year that louisiana passed the separate car act which legally segregated common carriers. enter 30-year-old homer plesy, he was a creole color, he sat in the white car after making it known that he was colored. he was subsequently arrested his case known as plessy versus ferguson went to the united states supreme court. the court ruled in 1896 set forth a precedent that would take decades to overturn. it wasn't until 1954 brown versus board of education that we saw it overturned. you may have heard of the plessy v ferguson case, separate but equal. the majority for the court found that a statute which implies a distinction between the white and colored races has no tendency to destroy the legal quality of the two races. let's make this clearer. not only did the ruling separate people by race. it also narrowly defined them
based on society's construct of what race is. you see, plessy himself, was the sort of man that you might look at and assume that he was white. so when the court was not only saying in this case that black and white are separate, they were also saying that the one drop rule is the definition of american blackness. but that was then, right? because we've moved beyond the definition and separation of race being inscribed into law. right. and race is no longer a construct placed on others by narrow andy vice sif societal notions. take off the rose colored glasses and let's look at the senate race in massachusetts and you'll see that the path of progress is sometimes a long and slow one. because that race is like a sea out of the movie from the sixth sense where some are saying, i see indigenous people. democratic candidate elizabeth warren's heritage has been scrutinized whether she's of
native american descent. is that what an american indian is supposed to look like? careful. there is no answer. if the candidate grew up thinking she is native american by heritage, who are we to say she is not. were would we define her based on narrow constructs of race. it's because we have confusion about what race is. if she has one drop of native american blood, she is, if she doesn't she's not. but the people of massachusetts may be giving all of us an invitation to a long overdue discussion about race. at the table. msnbc contributor and the washington post jonathan capehart and victor defrancesco and jamaal simpsons and national republican consul stant katon dawson. i'm taking professorial privilege here. we need to have a conversation on race all the time. but part of it is we need a
conversation on what race actually is. >> it's a social construct nevertheless. it's a concrete pillar in the society. not just in the u.s. if you look at lat inamerica. they make the u.s. look weak. they have 16 different categorizations. we have to acknowledge that race has been with us since the founding documents. it's embedded in race. i think another document that keeps perpetuating race in our society, whether we like it or not is the census. >> yes. >> the census defines race. so we can't get away from it. we can't say we live in a racially colorblind society because we keep institutionalizing race. recently, there's a discussion of including latino as a racial category not just ethnic. create a whole new race in the next census. >> the notion that we can undo racism but undoing these data is also false. on the one hand, it's socially constructive. it's real. the fact that there's a
different system of race just to the south of us means that it's not like if you have one drop of biological material, you become that thing. you can't undo it by pretending it's not there. on the other hand, we keep recreating it. >> you talk about elizabeth warren believing she's native american. how many do you believe are native american? >> everybody. i don't know one black person without a -- >> it reminds he of that dave chappelle skit with the blind racist guy. the point about ignoring race. they try this in france. in france there's a system where they don't actually count people by race. what they find is, because they don't measure it, they can't fix it. they're having a really hard time going after discrimination in housing and employment because nobody keeps records on it. it is still important to measure it to make sure we're holding up to our values. we have to find a way, i think, to be inclusive and imagine that tiff. >> it's interesting for this to
be happening during the reelection campaign of president obama. in part because he was like hyper speed version of the social done construction of race. at the beginning of the campaign, he was insufficiently black and by the end of the campaign he was way too black. the idea that blackness was even constructed in that way. in this case, you have native american identity which i think also has a lot of angst and what is that, and what is do it mean to look indigenous in this country? >> one of the things that was said is the government puts up big exclamation mark on it. it comes to your door and asks you in the sen cucensus that ha scholarships for ethnicity. let me see if i can find that ind -- because there was money for certain groups. >> but let's pause, katon. the group with the most money for are the white americans. the way i know that by looking
the data. there are set asides for scholarship funds. typically not from state universities. from state funds. it's always from private funds. that's in part because the resources are so enormous by race. >> looking at social group identities. i look at what a latino identity means. we're not seeing a sub of the identity. objectively, she says i'm native american. do we see her partaking in that? that's not my prerogative. it's that difference kind of in social psychology between objective and subjective identification. >> there's another problem here. that is the way elizabeth warren handled this issue when it came up. add that she's now running, takes it head on and she talks about the fact that when her parents got married, they had to elope because -- >> i'll let you make your point. i want to listen to her and have her making that point. >> as a kid, i never asked my
mom for documentation when she talked about our native american heritage. what kid would? but i knew my father's family didn't like that she was part cherokee and part delaware. so my parents had to elope. >> now, see, that's a fantastic ad. it's a powerful ad. she's owning her heritage. she's not allowing her opponent to say she doesn't look native american. she's been using this as a way to advance herself. this goes both ways. we have people hurling accusations and saying you're less than or this for nefarious purposes. on the other hand, you have someone like elizabeth warren when the accusation is thrown out there, she didn't own it. this became a story because she spent weeks upon weeks at first denying and finally she owns it. she should have just stepped right out there and said yes, i am and who are you to tell me what my heritage is. >> maybe it's in part because as
you point out, this is not a claim about biology. it's a claim that she's making culturally. it's a part of the angst, that yes, she has a narrative about personal very intimate discriminatory emotion. but she says because my mom was cherokee, we went to these events, these were my -- >> we celebrated this. >> i think your rule about owning it holds in politics in general. own it and own it quickly. because if not, your opponent is going to define it. >> well, mitt romney certainly owned 47%. that is what i said. when we come back, it's back to massachusetts and the incredible scene caught on tape. what senator scott brown staffers did that got their boss all riled up is next. why should our wallets tell us what our favorite color is? every room deserves to look great. and every footstep should tell us we made the right decision.
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that was a rally in boston last week where scott brown and elizabeth warren supporters were both presents. amazingly, some making the offensive tomahawk chops and war cries were staffers for senator scott brown. the bottom line, it is not okay to represent indigenous people as funny little indians. joining me from washington, d.c. is kevin goeber, he's the director of the smithsonian's institution national museum of the american indian and a member of the pawnee association. he served as assistant secretary for indiana fairs under president clinton. thank you for joining me. >> you're welcome. glad to be here. if you could weigh in a little bit on the massachusetts
senate race. i know there are mixed opinions within indian communities about the claims to native heritage that we're hearing. >> they are mixed. indian people aren't monolithic in their beliefs or attitudes or political judgments. i would say a couple of inninth. the thing that comes to me from watching all this happen is the casual nature of the evolution into stereotyping and the appropriation of native identity by all involved. you know, a drop of indian blood does not an indian make. it looks very odd for many of us to see someone who has never associated with the community or affiliated herself with a particular native nation to assert in any format that they are an indian. on the other hand, as you and your panel have pointed out earlier, it's equally jarring for us to hear somebody say you don't look like an indian
because indians look a lot of driven ways these days. i know indians of every shape, size and shade. as i say, it has evolved to stereotypin stereotyping. >> let me ask you about, particularly about that evolution of the stereotyping. the video that we just showed was, i think, for me it was really appalling to watch on the one hand. this representation of folks in that crowd doing the tomahawk chop. but part of the reason they think that's okay is because we perpetuate that in american sports teams at the collegiate level, at the national level. it felt suddenly like see, this is exactly the cost of turning human beings into mascots. >> i think that's right. it is the sports mascots, it's also our formal education system. it's also the popular culture at large which feels free to define indians for itself. of course, what they're really
showing are imaginary indians, the indians that they are imitating never existed. they don't exist today. it's at the expense of real indians that this is the popular -- the culture, the society at large really works to create this image of indians to define indians and it's something that's been going on for a very long time. i should say quickly that i don't think that this kind much -- i think that these acts are racist in nature, but i don't think that makes the people who engage in that conduct racist. i think we've sort of all been victimized, we've been bamboozled by the education system, by the culture into believing these things about indians and many indians believe these things as well. >> that's a youthful distinction. the distinction between casual racist acts, the representations that are racist are not necessarily inherent to the human beings who are doing them.
but that should give us a little space for people to feel less defensive so that we can in fact root out those acts and behaviors. i wanted to ask a little bit about your work at the museum because obviously as you point out, these are imaginary representations of indian. talk to me about how the actual historic work that you're doing at the museum in d.c. helps to counter these images. >> well, we have museums in both washington and new york, and in both of these museums, we're trying to represent native cultures in an appropriate way. when i say in an appropriate way, what we really mean is that we involve the indigenous nations themselves in the representations of their cultures and histories. for many, many years, educational institutions, including museums, took it upon themselves to say we're the experts and we know who -- what these people are. we do a very different thing and
most museums do now. say you can't have an authentic representation of native people unless you involve them in the creation of these exhibitions and programs. so in both of our museums, we're just trying to get people to take another look and if you spend any time at all, and i would encourage both senator brown's staff and were ms. warren to win, her staff, to come to our museum and you'll very quickly lose the idea that there is some kind of -- that there's any image that represents all indians. because there simply isn't. >> i love this idea. it's a very nerdland idea. let's get senator brown's staff and warren's staff down to the museum together. thank you for joining me this morning. >> thank you so much. up next, elizabeth warren fires back and we talk about a us little brown girl professors next. [ giggling ] [ laughing ]
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let me get clear. i never asked for, never got any benefit of because of my heritage. the people who hired me have all said they didn't know about it. i'm elizabeth warren. i approve this message. scott brown can tina tacking my family, but i'm going to keep fighting for yours. >> that was a message from elizabeth warren sending a clear message to senator scott brown that her heritage didn't give her an unfair advantage. maybe the story isn't so much that she defended herself but rather the claim on the part that senator brown that she's a recipient of undeserved benefits. sounds like me the ugly anti-affirmative action beast is rearing its head again. joining me at the table again are my guests. it's not a debate about the social construction of race. it's about the idea that elizabeth warren got undeserved benefits and by extension that all of these other brown folks get undeserved benefits.
>> sure. sure. i mean, from scott brown to say that look, she doesn't look like this, look like a native american. yet she found a way to work the system to her benefit, thus taking benefits away from other more deserving people. i mean, we've seen this in politics for generation after generation. >> melissa, let's remember. the other part of that 47% video is mitt romney talking about had his grandfather or father actually been latino, he would have a better chance being president if he were latino. >> because there are a lot of latino presidents. >> any hurdles in america today. that to me speaks to something that's more subtle that you're getting at. that there is maybe a little bit of a feeling that, well, the advantages are going to people who aren't like us. we got to do something to kind much tamp that. >> let's put empirical evidence on this. i was a tenured professor i'm at
tulane now. let's look at it. let's look at people of color in the ivy leagues, which is where elizabeth warren is. these are ivy league new faculty hires from 2003. as you can see, there's a little bit hard to see but the tenure is the green thing. that's the thing you want or the tenure track is the yellow. white men are the big tall green line at the end there. underrepresented minority, yes they are way down -- the little bitty tiny lines over to the left. look, the fact is at this point fewer than one half of 1% of ph.d.s are awarded to native american women. approximate she was looking to gain an advantage in the ivy leagues, she should have told people she was a white man, not that she was an indigenous woman. i want to pull apart this affirmative action fantasy that somehow black and brown people are getting a bunch of undeserved benefits. it's not what it looks like. >> there's the stigma that comes
with it. and owning your identity and saying, you feel that your colleagues are looking around and saying did she get this job because she's talented or because of the box. owning up, you place you're self-in the -- >> i think a lot of folks worry about the stigma. i always figure i'm down with the stigma. like, i am very happily own that a child born in the 1970s, i am the recipient of affirmative action benefits. part of the reason i could afford to pay for college you know at a private university was because it was still considered important to diversify those classrooms. i don't think that i'm smarter than the generations that came before me. i think i had more opportunities. those opportunities were given to me by -- i'm down with that stigma. affirmative action baby right here. >> what was said, let's keep affirmative action. if there's a stigma, make sure they can get as good a job as
possible to pay for the psychiatric care to deal with it later. the goal is to be in a post racist world, right in. >> right. >> not necessarily post racial one. one where the lines would not look like that. right? where they would be representative of the population overall. is there a way to get there in part? in other words, is there a teachable moment in in massachusetts senate race, is there something for all the ugliness that can allow us to pause -- jamal and i were teasing about the african-american of having a cherokee grandmother. you were like whoa, can we do that? can we make jokes about that sort of thing? it does feel tense to have a race conversation. >> it's uncomfortable. you took on the ivy leagues of walking the walk and talking the talk then too. you looked at the figures and the statistics of what they're doing and who they're hiring and what they're doing, the place that i would think would be most successful is the ivy league schools. looks like they're failing to me. >> they're doing a good job of
diversifying the student population. >> not the faculty. >> all the -- >> in the middle of massachusetts with a race there bringing up this conversation. it's one worthy of having. >> it goes back to something i said during the break. when these conversations we're having, the conversations you're saying i couldn't possibly say that, we could have a conversation about race around this table because there would be an element of trust among us that whatever we say we understand the motivation. we understand where it's coming from. >> goodwill. >> that's right. that there's goodwill and that the whole purpose of the conversation is to advance an understanding. in order to get to that point, some really possibly hurtful racist horrible things need to be said but in order to have the conversation and to educate each other, we need to have -- we need to air those things and so that we all know that's not cool or oh, that's wrong the way i'm
thinking or that's misguided the way that i'm thinking. >> in addition to that -- part of what the goodwill is also policy. you can't have the conversation if everyone at the top is of one racial category and everybody at the bottom is another racial category. you're trying to talk across race and power dynamics. part of what makes it possible is we're sitting at a table of peers. it's not around the table exactly. >> affirmative action isn't just about your college application. it's also about giving children in preschool and elementary school and middle school a level playing field. >> yep. >> i think when we talk about affirmative action, we should think about social policy, broadly described. i think this is where we can come back to elizabeth warren. she's advocating for affirmative action through a more equitable -- >> affirmatively furthering fairness. >> you make a good moint. nobody is exempt from in.
when you look at the consultant class, you see very few african-american media consultants making tv ads, very few african-american pollsters who are focused on that. so the democratic party has a problem with this and we fight for this every day. i mean, this is part of our -- >> they come to you when they need help. >> they don't come to you -- >> when they want to -- that's right. >> so i will say that this -- in this race, we have warren running for the u.s. senate. i want to remind everyone of the number of women of color currently in the u.s. senate. that would be zero. thank you to jamal simmons and katon dawson, jonathan and victoria are going to stick around. we're going to go to a stuff conversation. buying girls for sex on the internet. right here in america. try zyrtec® liquid gels. nothing starts working faster than zyrtec®
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when i little girl is sold by her impoverished family, girls my daughters' age, runs away from home or is lured by the false promise of a better life and then imprisoned in a brothel and tortured if she resists, that's slavery. it is barbaric and it is evil. and it has no place in a civilized world. >> that was president obama speaking in no uncertain terms tuesday at the clinton global initiative. in a speech devoted entirely to the issue of child trafficking and the united states new initiatives to end it. he spoke of young women and men overseas enduring brew talts at the hands of traffickers. the bitter truth is that trafficking also goes on in the united states. it's the teenage girl beaten and forced to walk the streets. i have one of those young women here with me today.
asia graves spent years in cities all over the country as a prisoner of a trafficker who sold her for sex starting when she was just 16 years old. asia survived continuous violence and abuse and today works for the fair girls organization helping to rescue other girls and increase awareness about child sex trafficking. also here is andrea powell, executive director and co-founder of fair girls. also still with us, jonathan capehart and victoria defrancesco soto. your story is a tough one to hear, asia. i understand there is one question in particular that always upsets you. tell me sort of that irritating question and your response to it. >> the irritating question is people usually ask why don't you leave? when i explain to them it's similar to someone leaving a domestic violence situation. you may try to leave one time but if you know you're going to be beaten or abused, you're
afraid to leave. i've seen girls beaten up, tied up, held hostage with guns to their heads. it made me afraid to leave. once i got out, i was actually happy. i work with young laiders who are trying to leave a situation i did. >> what's important to me is how the president framed this issue. was he consistently used the question of slavery. in part, you don't look at someone who has been enslaved and say why didn't you leave. the issue of sex trafficking, people assume that somehow something you did asked for it. when you are talking to young women who have heard that over and over again, who maybe internalized that, what are the things you say to them to help them realize they're not at fault? >> usually i start by saying i understand where you're coming from. i've been where you were. it takes a strong person to leave and a strong person to survive it. if you survived this, then you can survive it.
when you get out, i'm here to help you no matter what. our stories may be a little different because we're from different parts of the country or world. but at least one of us in the organization has been through what they've been through. someone is actually there who cares about what they're going through. >> andrea, this point about the shared experience, as we look at children in this country in particular who are trafficked, often there is an experience of early childhood sexual assault or sexual abuse. sometimes at the hands of family members and given that that is so frequently part of the story, what are some of the ways that we as a country, as a society and we'll talk later about the politics, can intervene before it turns into this additional layer of abuse. >> absolutely. you're completely right. almost all of the young women and girls who we work with at fair girls and we work with hundreds every year, have experienced sexual abuse in the home or in the community. their parents either didn't see what was happening, maybe a school teacher didn't see.
but most of them did try to get help and so what i say to this country is keep your eyes open. because intervening early means that you might have a girl who yes, has been exploited or a boy. but you can keep them from being enslaved. it is very hard, as asia is saying, to get out. there is this blame that's placed. this sort of, you could have gotten out. you should have known better. but the truth of the matter is, a little girl at four years old raped by her father, later abused by a boyfriend and finally sold into trafficking as a slave, she may not even understand what's happening to her. she may think this is all i'm worth. so many of the girls say that. at fair girls, we try to give them an opportunity to connect to asia and other survivors in our office who are working day by day with us to show them that this doesn't have to be this way. you're worth that much more. >> it's what abusers do. part of the abuse, the first thing they do is tell you if you're at fault, you're responsible for it and if you tell, that there are additional
negative consequences. >> exactly. >> so i want to broaden this out a little bit on the politics. because it does feel like so much of this work, to the extent that it's been done is being done by groups like yours. it's god's work to be doing this work. but we have as a country sort of said, you're not really worth the conversation, you're not with the politics, but here you have the president of the united states taking the time in this context to spend the entire speech discussing this. how does this change the game for young people in this circumstances? >> obviously when the president of the united states says anything about anything, it raises the bar in terms of awareness, in terms of importance. we saw that when it came to same-sex marriage. that the president of the united states came out. that it changed people's opinions. my own mother included. >> wow. >> on this issue, let's keep in mind that president obama spoke
at length and specifically on this topic, but it was more the icing on the cake, more the cherry on top of the sundae than a one and only time. i mean, secretary of state hillary clinton, undersecretary of state, women and girls have been a focus of the state department and thus the obama administration from the moment they came into office. >> yep. >> so this is nothing new to the president. this is nothing new to the obama administration. but it is new to hear him speak at length on this issue. so maybe what it will do is to open people's eyes to what's happening to women and girls in this country, specifically. >> victoria? >> the rhetoric used, where it's slavery. you don't have a choice. you didn't leave because you couldn't. and i wanted to talk about one sub segment of sex trafficking which deals with latin american women. over the past two decades what
we've seen these immigrant smugglers going to small towns in mexico, very poor villages and saying hey, we can get you a job cleaning hotel rooms, waiting tables. it's going to cost about $2,000 but you can pay that off once you cross the border. so they come over and you fall into the same pattern of sexual abuse and tell you you're not worth it, it's your fault. >> and you have a debt to repay. >> on top of that, you don't know english and there is the threat of being undocumented that i can call ins at any moment if you don't do what i say. add on the threats and the women never leave unless there's an external force that comes in. >> that social vulnerability. up next, we'll talk about how technology has been transforming in sex trafficking. [ rosa ] i'm rosa and i quit smoking with chantix.
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purchasing adolescent girls for sex every month. that was just in the state of georgia. it was a reflection of the way that technology has transformed the child sex trade. it's gone from the streets to online. at the center of it all is the classified website, back page.com, where advocates claim underage dpirls are regularly trafficked for sex. until recently, it was owned and operated by alternative weekly company, village voice media incorporated which made an estimatesed $22 million in fees off the site. in a buyout deal announced this week, the newspaper and the if yaled weeklies are splitting. all that means is that village voice media is dumping the paper but keeping its classified section, including the ad listing purchase for women and children for sex. okay.
andrea, this is clearly a central -- i mean, ife we're going to solve this, we can't rescue them one by one. we have to solve it at the source. what can we do about a back page? >> it's important to point out that organizations like fair girls, we are drowning in girls coming to our office. it's because village voice -- back page.com now, this is a smoke and mirrors effort on their part. but nonetheless, this, because the marketplace is so vast and so unregulated. so what needs to take place are three things. one, public education. we need to make people understand these aren't just girls somewhere over there. they're in the hotel right next to you. tear in the apartment down the hall. they're in the schoolyard. these girls are being bought and sold like commodities. we need to raise the passion bar. these are girls who will are your neighbors, classmates. second, we need for a stronger federal and state push. look at both criminal and civil litigation. we need to make this something
that is financially unattractive for lacy and larkin who own back page.com. i'm saying their name on purpose this time. i've never done that before. sitting down the hall from me are girls like asia, but younger, 12, 13, 14, or even 18 or 19 who were bought and sold on their website and they know about it because i've sent them letters and photos. i've begged their reporters that they say screen the ads. do something about this. this is a real girl, a real situation. no response at all. then finally, i think that what's really amazing about asia and other girls who are speaking up, they're showing other girls who were there in those hotel rooms and apartments, you can stand up. we're not going to stand for this anymore. i know we work tirelessly with the president's administration in preparation for the speech he gave tuesday. it was incredible to see the reaction of our fwirgirls in ou office. he talked about us. >> what is it like to have the president of the united states saying your experience exists? >> i actually cried for about
five minutes because i was kind of in such shock like did he really actually mention like what we go through on national news? and reporters all over the world, reporting on the topic. and i actually did a piece several days ago for usa today that was front page and i had a girl last night at our hotel who was in the life who actually approached me and said i read your piece. you spoke up for us. and a lot of girls i work with are like you're speaking up for us because we don't have that voice yet. i hope more girls can. i know some aren't ready yet to be there and do what i'm doing right now. >> you have an extraordinary voice, asia. i read your piece as well. you're here in nerdland. you actually consume a lot of political news that you watch it. tell me what your plans are in terms of both your education and your professional future as you're going forward? >> i'm trying to finish up a bachelors degree at the league of concentration as well as finishing up a bachelors degree
in social work. i hope to continue to work with fair girls for as long as possible and open an office if andrea allows me to -- >> miami again. >> this is sort of the whole point. when you say these are real girls, real people. it's also real contributions. real careers and lives and families. and to have the president stand and make that -- as you point out jonathan, there's been a lot of effort on the part of the white house, but neither he nor the white house alone can do this, right? >> right. >> this is going to take major changes in the marketplace, in our media. what do you see as some of the roles we can play? >> it's not just awareness of the girls. it's awareness of the jobs. we need to bring this to light. shame them. and also educate. from a young age, this is not acceptable. this is not what a regular guy does. this is sick. this is criminal. so we need education on both
sides. on the male and female side. >> boys actually do want to hear this. we go into schools in d.c. as well as through partner organizations around the country. often the boys start to say, hey, i know a girl down the street. what can i do to help? they're listening to the song timp by 50 cent. usually the boys say i didn't realize how awful this was. that's disgusting. boys can be educated and then girls also need to understand. hey, he doesn't love you. he's using you like a piece of pizza. you have to stand up and i think to answer the question, digging deeper than just the girls, we need to also have a clear understanding that girls shouldn't be arrested because they're involved in this situation. >> absolutely. >> right now, there is a 13-year-old girl in d.c. in detention facility being treated like a criminal and she's a victim of trafficking. >> we criminalize girls or victims, sometimes also boys for prostitution rather than as you point out, putting the
emphasis -- particularly of the criminal action on the men themselves. we have a minute left. i understand you brought something from the young lady. >> i'll be rude and open your present for you. >> no, no. >> this is a bracelet girls who survivor in our program and it's something that most of all nee have a sense of sisterhood and safe space and instead of having people take advantage of them, they can wear it and remind themselves. >> that sense of how that assault becomes on assault on who you are that allow force the possibility of enslavement is very -- and i will wear this in the knowledge of -- and the work that you are doing is extraordinary and we appreciate you continuing to do it. >> thanks for having us. thanks so much. >> andrea and asia thank you for being here and sharing your
story. and up next, i've got a tale of internet cruelty that turned out differently this afternoon you might expect. [ female announcer ] ordinary lotions aren't made to treat eczema, so it can feel like you're using nothing at all. but neosporin® eczema essentials™ is different. its multi-action formula restores visibly healthier skin in 3 days. neosporin® eczema essentials™.
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bullies are enboldened. that seemed to be what was happening when a young man posted this photo of a ohio state university sophomore in the funny section of the social news website readit.com. the caption read, i'm not sure what to conclude from this. as you can see from the photograph, cora is a sikh woman. she did not know the photo was taken, she did not know it was posted on the internet, she did not know that people were -- i'm
a baptized sikh woman with fashlg hair, yes, i realize that my gender is often confused and people make money of my facial hair. by transcending societal views of beauty, i believe that i can focus more on my actions. with that thoughtful, brave and breathtakingly graceful response, cora altered the all too familiar story line of cruelty and personal shaming. and she transformed her would-be enemy into her ally. the young man who posted the photo responded by admitting that his original post was ignorant. and he took action on that ignorance by researching the fate. he says it makes a whole lot of sense to work on having a legacy and not worrying about what you look like.
no matter how h many times you see the term battleground state, we are in the at war with one another. our neighbors are not our enemies. and although everybody will be looking to land the best one liner in the debates, what really matters in a democracy is taking the time to listen to each other. and learn something. thank you for the reminders. and that is our show for today. thank you to jonathan, victoria, asia and andrea, and thank you for watching. coming up now, we get with alex witt.
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